H.R. 38, entitled the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017” (CCRA) has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.  As we have previously reported, the bill allows any person who is carrying a valid government-issued identification document and is either: (1) also carrying a valid license or permit issued by any state that permits carrying a concealed firearm; or (2) is entitled to carry a concealed firearm in the state in which he resides, to carry a concealed handgun in any state that either: (1)  has a statute allowing its residents to apply for a permit to carry a concealed handgun; or (2) does not prohibit its residents from carrying concealed firearms without a license.  This language allows residents of states that allow carrying a concealed firearm without the need to obtain a license, to carry in other states, without the need to obtain a license. This is an important piece of legislation that, if passed, would ensure that the rights of licensed gun-owners are not subject to a patchwork of regulations in different states, and allow law-abiding gun owners to travel across state lines without the concern of being arrested.
It should also be noted that before passage, the “Fix NICS Act” was combined with H.R. 38, meaning both bills have been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. As described previously, the “Fix NICS Act”, which exists in similar form in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, encourages states to report crimes to the NICS database, ensuring that only those individuals who are legally allowed to purchase or own guns can do so.
Meanwhile, Senator Chris Murphy (Connecticut) appears bullish that the widely supported “Fix NICS Act” has enough support to prevent a filibuster, which means that it is likely to be the first bill involving firearms to pass after the Las Vegas tragedy. The Senate could elect to combine the CCRA and Fix NICS bills as well before voting, an action which would streamline the reconciliation process between the House and Senate versions of the bills, and allow for implementation in a much more expeditious manner.
As a whole, these two pieces of legislation ensure that gun ownership is restricted to those individuals who qualify under the law, and that the rights of those who are qualified to carry a concealed weapon may do so across all 50 states.